Introducing Perpetual Spinach
Growing perpetual spinach is easy with a few helpful tips. They will help you easily grow this nutritious plant in the tropics.
Perpetual spinach is also known as Chard, Swiss Chard or Silverbeet. Their are actually three main types of chard, white-stemmed, coloured, and perpetual. The perpetual variety tastes like spinach and is hence referred to as perpetual spinach.
Growing Perpetual Spinach
Perpetual spinach is the best chard to grow in the tropics. Plant it in full sun and make sure your plants are well-watered.
Location and Soil
Position your plants in full sun. Work compost and well-rotted manure into the soil before planting. Chard is a heavy feeder and thrives in soil that it high in nitrogen.
Growing Perpetual Spinach Tips
Time needed: 3 minutes.
How to grow perpetual spinach from seed.
Prepare soil. You need moist, fertile soil. Work in a slow release organic fertiliser if needed.
- Sow seeds
Water before sowing so the soil is moist. Sow seeds in rows 15cm apart. Plant seeds 1 -2cm deep.
Water regularly enough to keep the soil moist.
- Germinate and Thin
Seeds should germinate within 10 days of sowing.
Plants should be ready to harvest 50-65 days from seed. If you pick in the early morning, rinse and eat fresh, you will enjoy a more full flavour from your chard.
Weed regularly to stop invaders stealing nutrients from your plants. Using mulch will help keep the weeds down and keep the soil moist (saving you money on water as well).
Growing Perpetual Spinach – Care Tips
Apply a slow release fertiliser to the soil when planting. A nitrogen rich liquid fertiliser is a great way to feed your chard after that. It will give it a nice growth spurt when needed.
Start harvesting from the outside. Cut leaves 1 or 2 inches from the base.
Make sure you rinse leaves thoroughly before consuming.
Water chard regularly to keep them healthy and avoid the leaves becoming too bitter.
Perpetual spinach needs about 2 to 3cm of water each week. If the soil feels dry, you know there is a need to increase your watering. Mulching around the plants can conserve water and help with pest management.
Pests and Diseases
The pests of perpetual spinach include caterpillars, slugs aphids and mites.
However, regular application of ‘white oil’ can help address these pests. White oil is an effective organic pesticide that you can make at home.
Eating Perpetual Spinach
Growing perpetual spinach is worth the effort. Fresh it is often used in salads, stirfries, soups and omelets. However, it is usually boiled or sautéed, as the bitterness fades with cooking.
This nutritious leafy green contains 3 times the recommended daily intake of vitamin K and 40 percent of your daily vitamin A requirements.
Eating high fibre foods such as chard can help you lose weight. Such foods are very low in calories and also increase you feelings of fullness when having a meal.
This is a vegetable high in dietary fibres and is known to help prevent constipation.
This nutritious leafy green is full of vitamins and antioxidants which will help to boost your immune system.
Chard contains the antioxidants alpha and beta-carotene, lutein and choline. Consequently, these antioxidants help the body resist cell damage. Consequently, they can assist in limiting the progression of some diseases and infections.
Chard contains pre-biotic fibre. This is a type of fibre that must go though you undigested. Further, this is know to improve your gut health and promote ‘good’ bacteria.